Our Union Contracts provides many important benefits and rights for the professionals we represent. In addition, some state and federal laws offer further rights and protections, some of which can be found below. Please contact your union representative for more information.

What if I or a family member have a serious illness or injury and need time off of work? Will my job be protected?

If you have a serious illness or injury or are otherwise disabled, you may be entitled to time off from work. The Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and/or California Family Rights Act (CFRA) may apply to protect leaves that result from your serious health condition or the health condition of a family member.

In addition to job protected leaves under FMLA and/or CFRA, you may qualify under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) for a leave as a reasonable accommodation.

More information on these rights:

CFRA (the state equivalent of the FMLA)
ADA

Can I be paid for this time?

The FMLA, CFRA, and the ADA do not provide employees with pay. However, while on an FMLA and/or CFRA leave, you should be permitted to use your sick leave. You may also be able to use your vacation time. In addition, you may apply for State Disability Insurance (SDI) as long as you have been contributing to SDI.  Those SDI benefits would serve as partial wage replacement and may be integrated with your sick leave.

More information on State Disability Insurance

What can I do if I feel like I am being discriminated against based on my age, gender, race, sexual orientation, or other protected status?

There are many different laws that prohibit discrimination in the workplace. Depending on the type of discrimination, a different law may apply. The best thing to do if you believe you are being discriminated against is contact the Department of Fair Employment (DFEH).

More information on DFEH anti-discrimination laws and how to file a complaint

What can I do if I see something illegal or unsafe happening at my work? If I tell someone, how can I make sure I won’t get in trouble?

The best thing to do is report with a witness and if possible, in writing. If there is time, you may want to consult with your union representative before reporting so that he or she may approach the employer with you. You may not be retaliated against for making a complaint about unsafe working conditions.

What are my rights when I get called into a meeting with my boss that could be disciplinary? What can I say?

If you have a reasonable belief that the meeting will lead to discipline and the meeting is investigatory in nature (e.g. you will be asked questions by management), you have the right to ask for a steward to be present. This protection, called Weingarten Rights, also extends to requests that you make a written statement to be used as part of an investigation and to drug test requests.

Specifically you can say:
“If this discussion could in any way lead to my being disciplined or terminated, or affect my personal working conditions, I respectfully request that my union representative, officer, or steward be present at this meeting. Until my representative arrives, I choose not to participate in this discussion.”

My boss just starts changing our working conditions and workplace rules. Is that allowed?

It depends. This is something you should contact your union representative about. With union representation, there are rules about how and when terms and conditions of employment can be changed, and restrictions on unilateral changes. Some examples of mandatory subjects of bargaining include wages and benefits, such as healthcare and pension. Whatever you do, take action and stand up for what you think is right.